No Wonder the Youngsters Want to be Rebellious…Miserable old censors get grumpy about a jokey hip flask

Posted: 20 February, 2014 in ASA Advert Censor
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See article from asa.org.uk

fck my liver flaskThe website http://www.urbanoutfitters.co.uk featured a hip flask. The website stated F**k My Liver Hip Flask … Drink like the rebel you are with this F**K My Liver printed hip flask . Text on the hip flask stated FUCK MY LIVER . Issue

A complainant challenged whether the website was irresponsible because it could encourage excessive drinking.

Urban Outfitters said it was their intention to produce a funny and light-hearted ad to attract the attention of consumers that reflected their street style attitude. They said they did not encourage drinking and that they did not sell alcoholic beverages. Urban Outfitters said the phrases fuck my liver and drink like the rebel you are were meant to represent an attitude of disregard for others’ beliefs and the phrases were meant to be taken as light-hearted statements that portrayed a rebellious attitude that disregarded healthy living and as such, were not meant to be taken seriously.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld: Upheld

The ASA considered the advertiser’s assertion that the two phrases represented an attitude of disregard and that Fuck my liver did not necessarily relate to alcohol consumption. However, we considered that the strong link with the product’s purpose and the reference to liver would be interpreted as a direct reference to alcohol consumption. We considered that the phrase Fuck my liver was a message to actively disregard well-known advice about the negative effects of alcohol on the liver.

We also considered that the word rebels was, due to popular culture, likely to be seen as a reference to those who rejected normal conventions and were likely to take activities to an extreme. We therefore considered that in the context of a product for consuming alcohol, the phrase Drink like the rebel you are was likely to be seen as a direct encouragement to consume excessive amounts of alcohol, portraying drinking alcohol as a challenge.

Because Urban Outfitters advertised a product directly linked with the consumption of alcohol in a way that was likely to encourage excessive drinking, we concluded it was irresponsible and therefore breached the Code.

The ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising), 18.1 and 18.4 (Alcohol). Action

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told URBN UK Ltd t/a Urban Outfitters not to use words or phrases which were irresponsible, encouraged excessive drinking or portrayed drinking alcohol as a challenge.

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